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Married . WithOUT Children

“Don’t you DARE tell anyone what we just did,” I warned husband-head as we lay in bed. “It would ruin our reputations. . What would our friends think?”

Husband-head adjusted the blankets around his body and let out a sigh of satisfaction.

“Personally, I don’t care what anyone thinks,” he said honestly. “And it’s none of anybody’s business. Besides, we’re consenting adults – we can do whatever we want.”



I looked over at the alarm clock. I was talking about the fact that we had just gone to bed at 8:30 p.m. . on a Saturday night.

We’d spent the evening flopped on the couch in our PJs, watching movies and eating popcorn, with no desire to go out whatsoever.



“We must be getting old,” I said, somewhat disturbed at our behavior. “My PARENTS are more active than this, for Pete’s sake! Remember when we used to go out until the wee hours of the morning and party it up all night?”

“And remember how we felt like dog poo-poo the next morning?” husband-head reminded me. “Anyway, I like staying at home, and I like sleeping. This is my idea of a good time. .”

Then he let out a sudden whoop.

“WHOO-HOO!” he yelled out. “I’m COCOONED in my blankie! I’ve got my comfies on, and I’m snuggled in bed! I think I’m going to stay here all WEEKEND! In fact, I’m probably going to get a nasty case of bed sores!”

But little did we know how very trendy we were. .

By coincidence, a report had recently come out that said more and more people – namely the aging Baby Boomer generation – were opting to stay in the comfort of their own homes with friends and family instead of going out on the town. And this new homebody trend was called “cocooning.”

“Cocooning is COOL!” one newspaper headline screamed. “There’s been a return to home and hearth, an opening of our doors to entertain friends and family instead of going out.”

The story was obviously written by a middle-aged reporter who, at least, had the good sense not to use the word “groovy.”

I read the article to husband-head, who was delighted at the news.

“See? You can’t yell at me anymore about lounging around on the couch or staying in bed!” he said with glee. “I’m not being lazy – I’m being COOL!”

According to one dictionary, the definition of cocooning is, “the practice of spending leisure time at home.” Another calls a cocoon “the silky case which the larvae of some insects spin about themselves as a shelter during the pupa stage.”

“So what that means is that we’re in the `pupa’ stage of our lives,” I pointed out to husband-head. “We’re not old, we’re larvae. .”

“Yes, but at least we are past the `poo-poo’ stage,” he agreed. “Now could you please be quiet and let me cocoon in peace? You’re starting to BUG me. .”

Then I had a thought.

“HEY! Wasn’t there a movie called `Cocoon’ back in the 1980s?” I asked. “That one about a bunch of old people who were in cocoons, and it made them young again?”

“You’re right,” husband-head said seriously. “And it’s true, you know. It’s a scientific fact that people who cocoon stay younger and live longer.”

With that, we both wrapped our blankets tighter around us.

“Honey?” I asked into the dark. “Would you tell me a bedtime story about cocoons?”

Husband-head was silent for a moment before answering.

“Alright,” he said finally. “But don’t you DARE tell anyone that we did this. . It would ruin our reputations. What would our friends think?”

And then he began.

“Once upon a time, there was a spider named Charlotte. .”

Heidi Rice’s column appears every Friday in the Post Independent.


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